The stats are scary. Most of us have goals, yet 78% of that time period those goals don’t result in a change in behaviour, this means they can not be realised. The science is clear. If you wish to attain your dreams, you must begin by changing your habits.
We reside in a time where folks are finding your way through life on Mars and so are actively engaging with robots at work. Yet, whenever we consider new habits and self-mastery, it doesn’t seem that people have conquered that frontier yet.
The self-help book industry alone in 2008 was valued at $11 billion. Despite the fact that we’ve goals or intention-plans to attain these goals, some studies prove that having an intention to do something and actually acting is correlated by 28% in actual behaviour change.
THE INTENTION/ACTING GAP
Many people can clearly recognize that good habits are much better than bad habits yet there continues to be a clear gap between intention-to-act and action.
There are many of approaches for new habit formation that concentrate on setting, context, barriers to action, social influence, emotion and purpose but these ought to be unpacked on a case by case basis , nor always provide a endemic approach that lots of people can make usage of.
However, breakthroughs inside our understanding of how exactly we actively form new habits in the mind have assisted in the development of new behaviour and habits that last. To comprehend these we first have to understand the dynamics of a habit.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND HABITS
A habit can be an automatic behavioural pattern in response to a cue. It’s the consequence of repeating a behaviour in the same context over and over. It happens whenever we buckle up our seat belts whenever we get in an automobile, jump onto Facebook whenever we are feeling bored, or be sure you have a notebook with to a gathering.
Repetition strengthens the bond in the mind between a cue and the associated behaviour. With enough repetition our habits move from being initially conscious behaviour to unconscious habit.
A recently available study proved that it requires 66 days typically to form a fresh habit and that some individuals may take up to 250 days to create the same habit.
The trick is that repetition is key. How exactly we move from new behaviour to habit could be likened to understanding how to drive an automobile. When driving for the very first time we felt very conscious in what we were doing and constantly remembered to place the apparatus stick into second gear whenever we moved through a corner. Yet, as time passes and with practice, we can’t even consciously remember shifting gears directly after we have driven somewhere on a single day.
The mind wants to hardwire thinking, nonetheless it has limited capacity to take action. We can only have the ability to change one habit at the same time. This is why we are able to talk on the telephone and drive after we have mastered worries (let’s assume that you are employing a hands-free device of course), however, not whenever we were first understanding how to do so.
SMALL STEPS, BIG REWARDS
Often, we expect big changes inside our behaviour and set challenging goals: Lose 38kgs, awaken at 5am, make R10 million in the first year of business. The truth is that change and the forming of new habits is small and requires incremental repeated steps to take hold.
Whenever we have a lofty goal we often get disheartened whenever we don’t see significant progress towards that goal. This limits our desire to repeat the behaviour that’s needed is by the mind to create new habits. So, what’s the perfect solution is?
We have to chunk our goals into smaller habits which can be achieved easily and habitually. Whenever we achieve goals the mind releases dopamine, the feel-good hormone, and adrenaline, the energy hormone. This creates an upward spiral where we feel motivated and also have the energy to accomplish more.
So, rather than working towards a R10 million target, breakdown that goal right into a little bit of lead-generating activity a day. This achievement of smaller incremental goals will generate a synergy of dopamine and adrenaline in the mind linked to the behaviour that may enable us to ride this wave in a positive upward spiral of repetition as time passes.
IF-THEN PLANS AND HOW EXACTLY TO UTILIZE THEM
Behavioural scientists claim that we have to create a routine that weaves our new desired behaviour into our day to day lives to improve repetition in order that it may 1 day turn into a default response and therefore a habit. This involves routine, consistency, a reminder to take action & most importantly, what some scientists call, an If-Then plan.
That is a cue inside our mind to behave in a particular way whenever a situation presents itself. That is aided by stacking new desired behaviours into existing habits. For instance, we’re able to create an If-Then intend to head to gym after working by ensuring once we go back home after work and get changed out of our work clothes (If), we get dressed into our gym clothes (Then).
This creates an achievable and easily repeatable behaviour (planning for gym) that allows us to make a positive upward spiral (releasing dopamine and adrenaline) to fulfil a more substantial, more important, goal (improved general health).
After we can create this loose connection in the mind between desired activity (Then) and situational cue (If), this associated behaviour becomes easy to get at in the mind and therefore simpler to recall. After we have recalled it enough it really is hardwired and becomes a fresh habit, moving from the conscious to unconscious.
PULLING EVERYTHING TOGETHER
What goals do you think you’re working on you could breakdown into smaller goals to make a positive upward spiral? How will you create If-Then plans or mental cues to be sure that your desired behaviour is simple to recall and do something about predicated on cues in your day-to-day environment? Start small, but start – that’s how you form the habits which will ultimately lead you down a path of success.